National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has granted Israel’s first licenses to build and operate PV and solar thermal plants in the country, according to The Jerusalem Post. The Arava Power Company has received the go-ahead to build a 4.9MW solar plant at Kibbutz Ketura in the Eilot region of the Arava desert, while Edig Solar will build the country’s first 100kW solar thermal plant.
The Public Utility Authority is said to have worked on the granting of the licenses. It seems that the licenses, once granted, are active for 18 months, after which time it is expected that the facilities will have been built.
The Arava Power Company plans to begin construction of the 4.9MW plant as soon as the new feed-in tariffs for medium-sized plants are approved, and expects to invest approximately NIS120 million. It has been agreed with the 15 kibbutzim in the Negev and Arava areas that the land can be used for the construction of the solar plant, which is planned to become operational in March.
“This is an historic day for renewable energy in Israel,” said Yosef Abramowitz, President of the Arava Power Company. “For the first time, a large solar project is being launched that will be connected to the national grid, with many more megawatts on the way in the coming years. The Public Utility Authority is making a reality Ben-Eliezer’s dramatic decision to produce thousands of megawatts of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.”